"In 1994, most people had a largely binary perception of sexuality – the message was complicated for them. I am thrilled to see how much this has changed in those 20 years. The 21st century has provided all of us, recent generations particularly, with a clearer idea of the breadth of fluidity with which sexuality and identity presents itself in each individual. Gender identification, and the panoply of sexuality and identity are now topics that are more easily and more widely discussed, debated and talked about openly. It’s thrilling to see progressive change shift perceptions so quickly.
"What I feel we have arrived at with all this, is that queerness – as I am happy to call an all-embracing, foundational tenet – is really a state of mind brought about by an understanding: it is understanding difference, accepting your own truth, desire and identity, and lovely, lovely choice. It is the final, completely obvious contemporary acceptance and understanding that this enormous world of beauty, sexuality, identity, lust, feeling, excitement, and love isn’t just black and white, or simple, at all – it is literally every shade and gradation of the rainbow. It doesn’t just lie in one of two camps. It includes accepting and supporting positions that you may not even completely understand; and to arrive at that conviction is so, so beautiful, and to quote my great friend Casey Legler: 'Fierce!'
"These 20 years of publicly speaking my truth have made me a better and easier person to be around. It helped develop the clarity of my voice and establish who I would be as an adult. I am proud to be who I am, and I am happy to have shared that with the world." - REM frontman Michael Stipe
, in an essay for the Guardian
. Next month REM will release an 11-disc vinyl box set collection of its singles, titled 7IN – 83–88
, which will include reproductions of all their IRS Records singles from those years, including the original sleeve art. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)
Labels: coming out, gay artists, Michael Stipe, pop music